Foodie Experiences and Food Tours in the Coromandel
Travel the Coromandel Peninsula through its flavours by treating your tastebuds to these things to do in the Coromandel for foodies! From hopping from one artisan to the other to dining on fresh seafood, mingling with the locals at the market to embarking on a multi-day hiking and food adventure, the food experiences in the Coromandel are vast and varied. Check out some of our top picks in the list below!
1. Cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail
Wait, we’re starting a list of food activities with a cycle trail? Yes, the Hauraki Rail Trail is, indeed, a cycle trail that’s biggest draw happens to be the foodie experiences along the way. The trail, which starts in Kaiaua and branches off to end in either Waihi or Matamata, passes by many of the artisans and eateries we feature in The Foodie Guide to the Coromandel. The trail is a one to 5-day journey on an easy grade so you can enjoy the ride and the eateries without overexerting yourself. Find out more about the places the trail visits in the 6 Hauraki Rail Trail Towns You Can’t Miss.
2. Try Wine and Other Local Surprises at a Winery
Admittedly, the Coromandel isn’t the largest nor the most well-known wine region in New Zealand. Nevertheless, you’ll find a couple of hidden gems on the peninsula, such as the Mercury Bay Estate (761 Purangi Road, Cooks Beach), which is open for wine tastings along with serving antipasto platters and wood-fired pizzas at its relaxed restaurant. For a more rustic experience, check out the Purangi Estate (501 Purangi Road, Cooks Beach), which is arguably more famous for its Feijoa Cider and wood-fired pizzas than its wine, but you be the judge.
3. Mingle with the Locals at a Farmers’ Market
Buy fresh local produce, artisan goods and even arts and crafts at one of the many farmers’ markets in the Coromandel. Some of the best ones include the Thames Market (Pollen Street, Grahamstown) on Saturday mornings, the Coromandel Market (31 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town) on Friday mornings, the Whangamata Community Market (TCDC Town Green) on Saturday mornings in summer, and Coroglen Farmers Market (Gumtown Hall, Coroglen) on Sunday mornings between Labour Weekend and Easter.
4. Pick Up Artisan Cheese, Chutneys, Honey and More
The Coromandel is a treasure trove of artisan producers, from organic cheese to New Zealand chilli products, local preserves, macadamia products, citrus products and the list goes on. In fact, the list of artisans is so extensive that we’ve listed some of our favourites to visit in The Foodie Guide to the Coromandel.
5. Indulge in Fresh Coromandel Seafood
If there’s only one place you’re going to try seafood in New Zealand, make it in the Coromandel! Ok, so that’s quite a controversial statement in this seafood-loving nation, but the Coromandel does produce some darn good oysters, green-lipped mussels and more. Head to The Coromandel Oyster Co. (1611 Manaia Road, Manaia) to try oysters fresh from the farm. Dine on mussels at Blackbeard’s Smokehouse (18 Carina Way, Whitianga) that are harvested, marinated and smoked in the Coromandel. The Pepper Tree Restaurant (31 Kapanga Road, Coromandel Town) focusses on oysters, mussels and organic local produce. See more recommendations in The Foodie Guide to the Coromandel.
6. Relax at a Coromandel Cafe
While road tripping around the peninsula, be sure to stop by the local cafes for New Zealand-roasted coffee, baked treats and some fish and chips. For instance, The Wharf Coffee House (Shortland Wharf at Queen Street, Thames) does famously fresh fish and chips and affordable lunches. The Castle Rock Cafe (Whangapoua Road, Whangapoua) is a country-style cafe where the bread is homemade and they also sell their own products made from New Zealand chillis! And in Tairua, don’t miss The Old Mill Cafe (1 The Esplanade) offering hearty breakfasts and a seasonal dinner menu with the occasional live music.
7. Do a Hiking Food Tour
Combine great hikes with great food on a hiking tour with Nature & Nosh. Offering hiking tours in the Waikato and Coromandel regions, Nature & Nosh offers three to seven-day hikes in the Coromandel. Combine days of hiking to the North Island’s highest waterfall, exploring kauri forests and other spectacular terrains with dining at garden-to-plate bistros, licking locally-made gelato and embarking on a food trail along the coast. Find out more about Nature & Nosh on Viator and Tripadvisor.